A PRESENTATION was made to Liam Maloney during the recent Novena in St Cronan's Church, Roscrea, in recognition of his contribution to the church through his floral displays and exhibits.
The presentation was made by Most Rev. Fintan Monahan, Bishop of Killaloe. Prior to the presentation, Very Rev. Tom Corbett outlined the background to the presentation.
"It is an honour to be permitted to honour greatness and this is what we are doing here this evening. We are honoured to recognise with great appreciation and thanks a parishioner who has shared his great talent with plant and flower to beautify St Cronan’s Church in honour of the Lord at Christmas and Easter. Liam Maloney’s creations certainly helped heighten our sense of thanks and hope through the beauty and the wonders of nature.
"We thank Liam and his team and we are thankful to God that Liam and his family, colleagues and friends are here this evening. It may be more than a coincidence that during the Novena to the Little Flower, who promised 'to let fall from heaven a shower of roses', that we honour a man who lifted up many beautiful flower arrangements here in this Church over the years. We thank you for your talent, time and interest as we thank all your colleagues who helped you make this place probably one of the most beautifully decorated Churches in Ireland or the world.
"Liam Maloney was born in Dungar, looked after it faithfully all his life and still lives there. As his friends say humoursly 'he didn’t go far'. However he journeyed a very long way into the world of flowers. He says he got his love for their beauty from his mother, who was formerly a member of the Church of Ireland, so we have an ecumenical flavour this evening as well. But he says his three sisters never learnt even to cut a flower, let alone embrace them.
Liam showed his talent at the age of 8 or 9 when he remembers helping decorate his grandmother’s grave and ever since he has adorned cemetery, house and church with intensity and industry. He began to help the late Mrs John Breen to look after the Church here in the 1960’s and took over from there when she retired. The extended decoration of the Church began with the Festival of Flowers and Light, a Redemptorist Retreat which remained an abiding memory for Fr Gardiner and for so many others.
Then when I arrived in 2005 sadly Liam got the notion that the new PP didn’t like flowers. When the new PP heard this he knew that the artist in Liam would be uneasy, so thank God we had a chance to review the situation and Liam’s industry and talent have never ceased to impress over the years. Indeed since my first Christmas here I experienced the sense of expectation people have for the unveiling of what could justifiably be called the Roscrea equivalent of The Chelsea Flower Show, as the walls and the sanctuary were festooned with the lovely exhibitions of laurel, foxledge, euycalytus, gladioli, carnations and many other flowers unknown to me.
"They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the profound St Thomas wrote that beauty is what gives pleasure and fulfilment to the senses. But the senses must be aroused and activated by the work of the artist, the style, the dedication, the energy and the love which inspires every work of art. In Liam Maloney we recognise and give thanks for these gifts in abundance. We are honoured to ask him now to accept a presentation from Bishop Fintan. It is as painting of flowers, happily co-ordinating with this Novena to the Little Flower: 'flowers from heaven and flowers from earth.' Liam, we thank you for being with us this evening and we ask God’s blessing on you and all here present with you."
Liam wishes to thank people of all denominations for their support and help over the years.